• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

First tank - some questions

Aetherial

Member
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hey all,

I got the Superfish Tropical 100 Starter Kit for my birthday in August last year and have been loving it so far! (Everything besides the tank and lights has been replaced by Oase/Eheim/ADA etc, in those couple months so I guess that says enough haha)
The tank is 68x35x51cm/100 liters (Although the dimensions tell me it's 120 liters)

Current stock is:
7x Corydoras Julii
7x Otocinclus Vittatus
10x Cardinal Tetra
15x Bloody Mary shrimp
10x Anatome Helena Snails

Plant-wise it's still a little empty but whenever I trim, I put the trimmings back into the tank, plus I'll get a big batch of Rotala Rotundifolia Blood Red from a friend this week to really fill up the right side in the back.

Water parameters (tested today):
pH: 7.8 - too high but just haven't been able to get it lower. Would like to go down to around 6.5
kH: 6
gH: 2 - way too low, most likely because we have a water softener affecting the entire house. I'll bypass it for water changes from now on.
NH3: 0
NO2: 0.2 - Was always 0. Probably went up a bit because I just replaced the internal filter (Superfish 300) by an Oase Biomaster 350 Thermo yesterday, but I did put all the filter media from the old filter into one of the trays of the new one, so I think it should be okay.
NO3: 30 - See above
PO4: 1
Temp: 24 celcius
Water change: once every 3 days

Now the main thing that's bothering me is the following:
I've been adding CO2 pretty much from the start, but I just can't seem to get the drop checker to turn green.
I'm using the Dennerle Space 300 CO2 set together with their CO2 diffuser.
I'm at exactly 60 bubbles per minute but the pressure reducer/valve (if that's what it's called) is already fully open so I can't increase the number of bubbles any further.
Looking at my water parameters, I'm guessing it's because the pH is too high, but I don't know how to lower it other than adding CO2.

Any help is appreciated! And if you have any other tips/suggestions, feel free to comment!
 

Attachments

  • 20210217_142634.jpg
    20210217_142634.jpg
    3.7 MB · Views: 148
  • 20210217_142702.jpg
    20210217_142702.jpg
    959.5 KB · Views: 88
  • 20210217_142717.jpg
    20210217_142717.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 76
  • 20210217_142728.jpg
    20210217_142728.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 85

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,814
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Yes, you can't really use <"the water it produces for the tanks">.

The <"ion exchange unit"> has swapped out the calcium ion (Ca++) for two sodium ions (2Na+). The <"carbonates of alkali metals"> are soluble, meaning that you don't get any scale deposit, because all those Na+ ions remain in solution.

Do you have an alternative source of water? We have an ion exchange unit (it gets through a lot of salt), but with a "drinking water" tap straight away from the rising main and I use rain-water in the tanks.

cheers Darrel
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hi all,
Yes, you can't really use <"the water it produces for the tanks">.

The <"ion exchange unit"> has swapped out the calcium ion (Ca++) for two sodium ions (2Na+). The <"carbonates of alkali metals"> are soluble, meaning that you don't get any scale deposit, because all those Na+ ions remain in solution.

Do you have an alternative source of water? We have an ion exchange unit (it gets through a lot of salt), but with a "drinking water" tap straight away from the rising main and I use rain-water in the tanks.

cheers Darrel

Some very interesting threads that clear up a lot, thank you for the information!

I don't have an alternative source of tap water but the ion exchange unit does have a bypass, although the water will become a mix of "before/after exchange" water, so I'm not sure if that's a proper solution or if it will still be a problem.
Other than that, I'll definitely be able to set up some sort of system to catch rain water outside and use that whenever there's enough of it! (Always thought rain water doesn't contain calcium, etc. Learned something new today!)
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,185
Location
Chicago, USA
I've been adding CO2 pretty much from the start, but I just can't seem to get the drop checker to turn green.
I'm using the Dennerle Space 300 CO2 set together with their CO2 diffuser.
I'm at exactly 60 bubbles per minute but the pressure reducer/valve (if that's what it's called) is already fully open so I can't increase the number of bubbles any further.
Looking at my water parameters, I'm guessing it's because the pH is too high, but I don't know how to lower it other than adding CO2.
Hello,
While freshwater plants do not like salt, looking at the tank, it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem right now.
The pH of the water has nothing to do with the water inside the dropchecker - unless you are putting the same water in the DC as the tank. DC water should be distilled or deionized water adjusted to 4dkh.
The pH of the water also has nothing to do with the ability to dissolve CO2 in that water.

So even though it is wise to anticipate future problems due to the salt and how to mitigate it, if the plants are not showing signs of salt distress then I would forgo the rainwater solution for the moment (unless it's very easy to collect and maneuver) and concentrate on better ways to dissolve CO2.

The first issue I have with your scheme is that the diffuser is sitting in a dead end corner and the bubbles immediately rise up and exit the tank. I don't think that's the best place for the diffuser. A better place would be at the bottom of the back wall, below the spraybar. An even better place would be immediately in front of the filter inlet. Allow your filter to do the work for you by sucking in the gas and giving it more time to dissolve. Make sure the filter isn't full of media so that you do not restrict the flow.

Also, I cannot interpret the first photo showing the spraybar. I should be able to see the holes pointing forward but I can't see any holes. Also, it appears that there is a plastic tube attached to the spraybar running along the back to the right? You'll need to explain that or provide a more detailed photo of that setup.

Finally, you may at some point wish to consider upgrading to a fire extinguisher CO2 solution because that Denerle space age solution is weak. Check the Tutorial section of the forum for an article describing fire extinguisher CO2 technique.

Cheers,
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hello,
While freshwater plants do not like salt, looking at the tank, it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem right now.
The pH of the water has nothing to do with the water inside the dropchecker - unless you are putting the same water in the DC as the tank. DC water should be distilled or deionized water adjusted to 4dkh.
The pH of the water also has nothing to do with the ability to dissolve CO2 in that water.
First of all, apologies for the late reply! I've had a busy couple days.
I did actually put water from the tank in the DC because that's what the ADA manual said. However, I've read quite a few posts from you in the short while I've been here and you seem very knowledgeable and able to back everything you say up with actual facts, so I'm gonna follow your advice instead.

I'll buy some Sodium bicarbonate and deionized water tomorrow and use 4dkh in the DC from now on.

So even though it is wise to anticipate future problems due to the salt and how to mitigate it, if the plants are not showing signs of salt distress then I would forgo the rainwater solution for the moment (unless it's very easy to collect and maneuver) and concentrate on better ways to dissolve CO2.
The easiest way for me would be to put a couple big barrels underneath all the downspouts, but I'm pretty sure the water would be way too dirty to use in my tank. I'll stick to using the bypass on the ion exchange unit for now.

The first issue I have with your scheme is that the diffuser is sitting in a dead end corner and the bubbles immediately rise up and exit the tank. I don't think that's the best place for the diffuser. A better place would be at the bottom of the back wall, below the spraybar. An even better place would be immediately in front of the filter inlet. Allow your filter to do the work for you by sucking in the gas and giving it more time to dissolve. Make sure the filter isn't full of media so that you do not restrict the flow.
Yeah I had a hard time figuring out where the best spot would be. I've placed it below the filter inlet now as in front of it doesn't fit. A lot of the bubbles are being sucked into the filter now, so I suppose the placement is okay now. (See photo)

Also, I cannot interpret the first photo showing the spraybar. I should be able to see the holes pointing forward but I can't see any holes. Also, it appears that there is a plastic tube attached to the spraybar running along the back to the right? You'll need to explain that or provide a more detailed photo of that setup.
Not sure why the holes aren't visible on the first photo. Maybe it's the angle somehow. You can see them clearly now in the new photo(s) I've added. As for the plastic tube, I'm not entirely sure what you mean. If it's the part that starts from the middle back to the right, it's actually the spraybar itself. The spraybar covers the entire length of the tank but it's 2 smaller spraybars with a piece of tube in the middle connecting them. (See photo)
I'm pretty sure you don't mean this, but if it's the tube on the right that goes downwards, that's the filter inlet.

Finally, you may at some point wish to consider upgrading to a fire extinguisher CO2 solution because that Denerle space age solution is weak. Check the Tutorial section of the forum for an article describing fire extinguisher CO2 technique.

Cheers,
I actually came to the same conclusion after figuring I should think in simpler ways. (DC is blue, meaning CO2 levels are too low, meaning to fix that I have to increase my CO2 levels. Valve is open as far as it can go so I can't get higher levels with this set. Solution is a better set)
So I got myself a CO2Art Pro-SE Regulator, CO2Art diffuser and a 2kg cylinder, which should be able to handle this tank easily (Plus looks much better too)

Couple other notes related to the photos/tank:
The tridents on the very top of the wood are going somewhere else. I just got my tube of glue today so they'll get a new spot not so high up.
The other tridents on the left part of the wood look very messy right now because I only had sewing thread lying around and just couldn't manage to keep them in place with it, so I'll be gluing those on as well.
The entire foreground (up till the hardscape) and right corners used to be only sand, but the fish have made a mess of it by mixing it with the black gravel. I'll be filling most of it up with Monte Carlo.
For some reason the sand from the right side ends up on the left side, I have to make it equal in height every time I do a water change. Might just leave it like this tbh.
More plants are coming to fill everything out nicely. Plan is to make the transition from the Limnophila (Left side background) to the Rotala Rotundifolia Blood Red (Right side background, will be a while till they get red) nice and smooth by going from green to yellow/orange/red. I'll have to order some plants still to fill out the middle part.
Other than that I'll be adding more/new moss that hopefully won't turn out as depressive looking as whatever is in there now 😂, a bunch of Anubias Nana Mini, a couple touches of red in the middle/foreground (not sure what yet) and maybe some new cryptos if mine decide not to come back.

Appreciate the advice!

Cheers
 

Attachments

  • 20210219_234745.jpg
    20210219_234745.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 48
  • 20210219_234813.jpg
    20210219_234813.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 45
  • 20210219_234833.jpg
    20210219_234833.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 46
  • 20210219_234944.jpg
    20210219_234944.jpg
    3.9 MB · Views: 44
  • 20210219_234955.jpg
    20210219_234955.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 40
  • 20210219_235014.jpg
    20210219_235014.jpg
    2.9 MB · Views: 38
  • 20210219_235033.jpg
    20210219_235033.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 35
  • 20210219_235143.jpg
    20210219_235143.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 52

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,185
Location
Chicago, USA
First of all, apologies for the late reply! I've had a busy couple days.
I did actually put water from the tank in the DC because that's what the ADA manual said. However, I've read quite a few posts from you in the short while I've been here and you seem very knowledgeable and able to back everything you say up with actual facts, so I'm gonna follow your advice instead.

I'll buy some Sodium bicarbonate and deionized water tomorrow and use 4dkh in the DC from now on.
Hi, no worries, life gets in the way sometimes. Yes, for the life of me I'll never understand why companies continue to give such terrible advise regarding the DC. If you take a look at the CO2 article in the Tutorial section of the forum, you'll see an explanation of why using tank water is a terrible idea. We want isolate the DC from the tank so that we have an independent water sample where the only acid in the sample water is carbonic acid. Tank water has small amount of organic acids and even small amounts of nitric or phosphoric acids. These acids help to turn the bromothymol blue to the green color skewing the indication so that you will have LESS CO2 in the tank than is indicated by the DC.

I strongly suggest however, that you simply buy 4dkH water for you DC. Again, if you're off even by a little bit in the wrong direction in your mix you can easily overestimate the CO2 level. If you're confident in the accuracy of your scale and other equipment, then by all means go for it.
I'll stick to using the bypass on the ion exchange unit for now.
Yeah, that would be my choice as well mate.
Yeah I had a hard time figuring out where the best spot would be. I've placed it below the filter inlet now as in front of it doesn't fit. A lot of the bubbles are being sucked into the filter now, so I suppose the placement is okay now. (See photo)
I'll offer a bit of advice (it's more of a motto); CO2 is NEVER OK. It can always be improved and it always needs to be improved.
People always think; "Oh, my CO2 is OK, my problems must be due to some mysterious witchcraft"
Looking at the photos I can see that there are still a lot of bubbles bypassing the filter inlet. Ideally you want to get 100% of the gas into the filter unless you filter burps and coughs at the amount of gas being fed. Also the efficiency depends on the inlet grill being clean. Also, you don't want a lot of filter media. Reducing the amount of media improves flow rate upon which the effectiveness of your spraybar depends.
Not sure why the holes aren't visible on the first photo. Maybe it's the angle somehow. You can see them clearly now in the new photo(s) I've added. As for the plastic tube, I'm not entirely sure what you mean. If it's the part that starts from the middle back to the right, it's actually the spraybar itself. The spraybar covers the entire length of the tank but it's 2 smaller spraybars with a piece of tube in the middle connecting them. (See photo)
OK, I can see that now, but when you extend the spraybar there is a pressure drop across the length of the tube so the force coming out of all those holes is less. Drop the water level and ensure that the jets reach the front glass without too much of a vertical drop.
So I got myself a CO2Art Pro-SE Regulator, CO2Art diffuser and a 2kg cylinder, which should be able to handle this tank easily (Plus looks much better too)
Yup I agree!
Cheers,
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hi, no worries, life gets in the way sometimes. Yes, for the life of me I'll never understand why companies continue to give such terrible advise regarding the DC. If you take a look at the CO2 article in the Tutorial section of the forum, you'll see an explanation of why using tank water is a terrible idea. We want isolate the DC from the tank so that we have an independent water sample where the only acid in the sample water is carbonic acid. Tank water has small amount of organic acids and even small amounts of nitric or phosphoric acids. These acids help to turn the bromothymol blue to the green color skewing the indication so that you will have LESS CO2 in the tank than is indicated by the DC.

I strongly suggest however, that you simply buy 4dkH water for you DC. Again, if you're off even by a little bit in the wrong direction in your mix you can easily overestimate the CO2 level. If you're confident in the accuracy of your scale and other equipment, then by all means go for it.
I can't find a place that sells it here except one where it's sold out atm. I do have a very accurate scale (0.01g) and was planning to make a larger amount as suggested in this thread.
Would you suggest waiting until the store has it back in stock? Or should it be safe enough with this scale/large amount/me being careful and precise.

I'll offer a bit of advice (it's more of a motto); CO2 is NEVER OK. It can always be improved and it always needs to be improved.
People always think; "Oh, my CO2 is OK, my problems must be due to some mysterious witchcraft"
Looking at the photos I can see that there are still a lot of bubbles bypassing the filter inlet. Ideally you want to get 100% of the gas into the filter unless you filter burps and coughs at the amount of gas being fed. Also the efficiency depends on the inlet grill being clean. Also, you don't want a lot of filter media. Reducing the amount of media improves flow rate upon which the effectiveness of your spraybar depends.
I've noticed that haha. I've constantly been improving just about everything ever since I got the tank. I'll make sure to include CO2 as well. I suppose it's a good thing I'm a perfectionist.
I'm guessing not all the bubbles going into the filter inlet is mainly because the flowrate is too low. Would that be correct?
I watched a video on this filter by "Pondguru" who does the "Pimp my filter" series and he recommends drilling a lot more holes in the pre-filter tube to improve the flow rate but I've been hesitant to do so simply because it's something I can't reverse.
Should I just go ahead and do that?
Yeah I've removed the leaves from the inlet grill already. (Should've done that before taking a photo of course)
The filter does contain a lot of media right now. The bottom tray has a 30PPI sponge and on top of that a layer of filter wool, then 3 trays filled with Seachem Matrix and the last tray has a bag of Purigen.

OK, I can see that now, but when you extend the spraybar there is a pressure drop across the length of the tube so the force coming out of all those holes is less. Drop the water level and ensure that the jets reach the front glass without too much of a vertical drop.
I'm doing my water change tomorrow so I'll test the jets right then as well!
If not sufficient, which is probably the case, there's a couple things mentioned above that should improve it.
Drilling holes in the pre-filter tube, removing some of the filter media or perhaps getting rid of the spraybar extension?

Cheers!
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,814
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
The easiest way for me would be to put a couple big barrels underneath all the downspouts, but I'm pretty sure the water would be way too dirty to use in my tank.
I've used rainwater <"since the 1970s"> without any problem, have a look at the <"Daphnia bioassay">. A lot of <"serious aquarists"> still use rainwater, and we are lucky in NW Europe that we get a lot of it all year around. These are three of my five rainwater barrels.

back_wall-jpg.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,185
Location
Chicago, USA
I can't find a place that sells it here except one where it's sold out atm. I do have a very accurate scale (0.01g) and was planning to make a larger amount as suggested in this thread.
Would you suggest waiting until the store has it back in stock? Or should it be safe enough with this scale/large amount/me being careful and precise.
Wow, really? I would have thought you could find it online anywhere, some of our sponsors and even on Amazon or flea-bay.
I'd just wait. No point in buying two things, however, sure, if you follow the instructions in the thread then go for it.
I've noticed that haha. I've constantly been improving just about everything ever since I got the tank. I'll make sure to include CO2 as well. I suppose it's a good thing I'm a perfectionist.
I'm guessing not all the bubbles going into the filter inlet is mainly because the flowrate is too low. Would that be correct?
I watched a video on this filter by "Pondguru" who does the "Pimp my filter" series and he recommends drilling a lot more holes in the pre-filter tube to improve the flow rate but I've been hesitant to do so simply because it's something I can't reverse.
Should I just go ahead and do that?
Yeah I've removed the leaves from the inlet grill already. (Should've done that before taking a photo of course)
The filter does contain a lot of media right now. The bottom tray has a 30PPI sponge and on top of that a layer of filter wool, then 3 trays filled with Seachem Matrix and the last tray has a bag of Purigen.
Yeah, low flow rate is really problematic, not necessarily because it dooms you to failure, but that it lowers your margin of error, so that if other things go wrong wimpy flow does nothing for you. I'd definitely ditch the wool, without even thinking about it and you can remove about 2/3rds of that Matrix stuff easily. In CO2 injected tanks the role of the filter is primarily mechanical and that is supplemented by your water changes. The plants perform the biological filtration but they can only do a good job if you physically deliver copious quantities of nutrients/CO2 via good flow/distribution. So removing all that hydrodynamic drag from the filter bucket is win-win.
I'm doing my water change tomorrow so I'll test the jets right then as well!
If not sufficient, which is probably the case, there's a couple things mentioned above that should improve it.
Drilling holes in the pre-filter tube, removing some of the filter media or perhaps getting rid of the spraybar extension?
Yeah, I would delay the drilling and do that as a last resort. Reducin filter bucket contents will pay immediate dividends.

Then yes, play with the length of the bar. You can often get away with a shorter bar if it's placed closer to the center and that will give your streams more energy to reach the front.

Cheers,
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hi all,

I've used rainwater <"since the 1970s"> without any problem, have a look at the <"Daphnia bioassay">. A lot of <"serious aquarists"> still use rainwater, and we are lucky in NW Europe that we get a lot of it all year around. These are three of my five rainwater barrels.

cheers Darrel
It's more about all the other stuff coming down the downspout I worry about. We have a ton of trees in the yard and around the house. We do have 1 barrel currently and the water in that is pretty much tea colored and full of leaves and what not.

Wow, really? I would have thought you could find it online anywhere, some of our sponsors and even on Amazon or flea-bay.
I'd just wait. No point in buying two things, however, sure, if you follow the instructions in the thread then go for it.
I'm sure I'll be able to find it online in some other countries in Europe but I'll have to see if that'd be worth it considering shipping costs etc.
I'll contact the store where it's sold out first to ask when they expect it back in stock.
In the meantime, is it okay to use the DC with tank water as a guide? Or is it just completely unreliable.
I do still have the Dennerle DC as well which has the solution in it that came with it, which I suppose would be 4dkh. Maybe I should use that one until I can order the stuff?

Yeah, low flow rate is really problematic, not necessarily because it dooms you to failure, but that it lowers your margin of error, so that if other things go wrong wimpy flow does nothing for you. I'd definitely ditch the wool, without even thinking about it and you can remove about 2/3rds of that Matrix stuff easily. In CO2 injected tanks the role of the filter is primarily mechanical and that is supplemented by your water changes. The plants perform the biological filtration but they can only do a good job if you physically deliver copious quantities of nutrients/CO2 via good flow/distribution. So removing all that hydrodynamic drag from the filter bucket is win-win.
The jets reach the front glass with pretty much no drop-off and the plants in the foreground are all moving around so I think the flow is sufficient for now. I did angle the holes of the spraybar ever so slightly upwards because the Cories were darting to the surface a little too often for my liking. I'll play around with the filter media and see how much of a change in flow rate there will be.

Yeah, I would delay the drilling and do that as a last resort. Reducin filter bucket contents will pay immediate dividends.
Then yes, play with the length of the bar. You can often get away with a shorter bar if it's placed closer to the center and that will give your streams more energy to reach the front.
Was thinking the same, since that's the most "dramatic" out of all the options.
I did notice that all the jets are angled to the right rather than straight forward for some reason, not sure why that happens.

Cheers
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,814
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
We have a ton of trees in the yard and around the house. We do have 1 barrel currently and the water in that is pretty much tea colored and full of leaves and what not.
It doesn't matter, but if you did want to use the water you can clean the barrel out and use a strainer to keep the leaves out. I've got a diverter on most down-pipes but where they are "straight through" I just wedge a plant pot onto the end of the pipe.
In the meantime, is it okay to use the DC with tank water as a guide? Or is it just completely unreliable.
It is not very useful, it only works <"as a CO2 measure with a solution of known hardness">.

cheers Darrel
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,185
Location
Chicago, USA
I do still have the Dennerle DC as well which has the solution in it that came with it, which I suppose would be 4dkh. Maybe I should use that one until I can order the stuff?
Yep! Some companies sell their kits with the 4dKH water and bromothymol blue already mixed in. If you have a KH test kit definitely confirm that it is in fact 4dKH.
The jets reach the front glass with pretty much no drop-off and the plants in the foreground are all moving around so I think the flow is sufficient for now.
OK, that'll be fine. Just be aware that as the plant mass increases you'll have that option to give yourself some room to improve the flow.
Was thinking the same, since that's the most "dramatic" out of all the options.
I did notice that all the jets are angled to the right rather than straight forward for some reason, not sure why that happens
Yeah, it's just the way the water hits the edges of the holes. Not a big deal.

Cheers,
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hi all,

It doesn't matter, but if you did want to use the water you can clean the barrel out and use a strainer to keep the leaves out. I've got a diverter on most down-pipes but where they are "straight through" I just wedge a plant pot onto the end of the pipe.

cheers Darrel
I'll look into it! I still live with my parents and have built my own little place in a big wooden shack in the backyard but it has no water supply at the moment. I'm planning to install a sink and connect it to the main water supply before it goes through the water softener sometime this spring. Right now I have to do my water changes by filling up a bucket inside the house and walk about 100 meters to the shack 5 times, every 3 days. Not the most fun thing to do.
Yep! Some companies sell their kits with the 4dKH water and bromothymol blue already mixed in. If you have a KH test kit definitely confirm that it is in fact 4dKH.
Found out the company I buy my AIO plant ferts from (Planning to go the DIY route soon once I understand it all well enough) sells bottles of premixed DC solution, so I got that instead of the 4dKH water. Should be good for a while now!
I've included a photo of how my DC looks now (Also a couple photos of how the tank looks in general now) and I think I'm in the right color range now. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
OK, that'll be fine. Just be aware that as the plant mass increases you'll have that option to give yourself some room to improve the flow.
I've planted all the new plants I ordered about a week ago and removed both the filter wool and a big portion of the media, but feel like my flow rate might not be sufficient after all. Some plants are swaying, but especially in the background most plants are quite motionless. I suppose this makes sense since the flow goes down the front glass, then rolls back across the bottom towards the back, but I feel like there should be at least a little bit of movement going on.
Video of flow rate:
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
Hmm, I'm not sure why the photos have suddenly disappeared from my comment. Here they are once more.
 

Attachments

  • 20210307_172618.jpg
    20210307_172618.jpg
    3.3 MB · Views: 33
  • 20210307_1734531.jpg
    20210307_1734531.jpg
    2.9 MB · Views: 38

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,185
Location
Chicago, USA
Hmm, I'm not sure why the photos have suddenly disappeared from my comment. Here they are once more.
OK, thanks for that. I can see the DC looks more reasonable now. Nice video!
The tall plants do disrupt flow a little bit and yes, I can see in the video that the plants in back are being blocked.
You can try moving the DC to the very back of the tank just to see if you can get that nice color way back there.
Just keep an eye on the plants in the back and see if they start to suffer. They might be OK for now. If not then you might want to add a supplemental pump like a Koralia to augment the spraybar.

Cheers,
 

Aetherial

Member
Thread starter
Joined
17 Feb 2021
Messages
32
Location
The Netherlands
OK, thanks for that. I can see the DC looks more reasonable now. Nice video!
The tall plants do disrupt flow a little bit and yes, I can see in the video that the plants in back are being blocked.
You can try moving the DC to the very back of the tank just to see if you can get that nice color way back there.
Just keep an eye on the plants in the back and see if they start to suffer. They might be OK for now. If not then you might want to add a supplemental pump like a Koralia to augment the spraybar.

Cheers,
Thanks! And good to hear the DC looks better now!
I've trimmed the Limnophila now and will likely keep the height of all background plants just below the spray bar so they don't block the flow.
I've moved the DC to the back now and will check the color tomorrow at the same time of day as when I took that photo in my previous comment.
All plants are growing well and look healthy, except the Trident on the wood (I suspect it might be getting too much light) and the bigger Anubias in the middle/left is getting some yellowish areas on the leaves.
I'll keep an eye on everything and will check out that pump!

Cheers
 

Similar threads

Top